California voters gave an strong thumbs-down Tuesday to five ballot measures that elected officials were relying on reduce a now likely $21.3 billion deficit in the state budget. In Los Angeles, voters turned down Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa? pick for city attorney, termed-out City Councilman Jack Weiss, in favor of Carmen Trutanich.
Special election results posted on the state secretary of state's website showed more than 60 percent of voters rejected the five fiscal measures on the ballot. A sixth measure barring pay increases for state officials amid deficits was approved by about 74 percent of the voters.
The governor and legislators closed a $40 billion gap in February in part with $12.8 billion in temporary tax hikes, with six measures placed on the ballot to raise more revenue and cut spending, The measures would have extended the tax hikes, allowed borrowing of state lottery money, and transfered to the general fund money set aside for children's and mental health services, among other moves.
In local races, with 90 percent of precincts reporting, Trutanich, a San Pedro lawyer who received strong law enforcement backing, appears to have won the race to become city attorney. He beat Weiss, who was strongly backed by Villaraigosa but had come under criticism for personal attacks on his opponent in campaign ads paid for by outside groups.
In the City Council's 5th District, former Assemblyman Paul Koretz held a narrow 335-vote lead over neighborhood council member David "Ty" Vahedi to succeed Weiss on the council.
Passage of the state ballot measures would have given Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislators $5.9 billion more in general fund revenues to close gaps in the current fiscal year's budget and the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Schwarzenegger said last week that if the ballot measures failed, he would propose adding $2.3 billion in school spending cuts; $1.7 billion in higher fees and $1.4 billion in additional borrowing to the current proposal for $9 billion in cuts.
?/b> Read updated Sacramento Bee coverage of the state ballot measures.
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